Accidental Photographer: Kitty Chou
Evening Discussion with Kitty Chou, Photographer
"Accidental photographer" describes both Kitty Chou's path to becoming a photographer and her approach to photography itself. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Chou pursued higher education in the U.S. and earned a degree in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania. As she received no formal training in photography, nothing about the early years of her life suggested that photography would become her passion. As a student, Chou visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York and saw in Henri Cartier-Bresson's exhibition his ability to capture all the "right" moments. She was inspired to do the same, and bought her first SLR camera, starting to take pictures of random street scenes, as well as of friends in candid moments (much to their dismay). Chou's goal for each photo is to create an image that is simultaneously visually provocative and emotionally evocative.
Like Cartier-Bresson, she composes her images through the view finder, carefully framing it, despite the limited time she has to capture each shot. None is staged, cropped or altered in any way after she presses the shutter (except for adjustments in contrast and exposure suitable for the medium used), resulting in "organic" images that are products of serendipity. While each photograph may represent a fleeting moment or confluence of unrepeatable circumstances, there is often a common theme to her work, which she defines as "explorations in abstract realism," perceptions of real items or scenes in ways that obscure what they really are and evoke associations and emotions within the viewer, taking them far away from the reality of what they are viewing.
In conversation with curator William Zhao, Chou will discuss her accidental artistic journey, and share her photographic work which has been exhibited in the New York School of Interior Design.
"Reflections on water give the impression of psychedelic jazz sheet music, a chorus of birds on a telephone wire resembles a geometric pattern, and a view down an allée of trees in a Parisian park challenges the viewer's perceptions like a moody Rorschach test." — Kitty Chou